CTA: Kirk-Bear Canyon Library Public Art Project

Call to Artists/Teams for Public Art:

Kirk-Bear Canyon Library Public Art Project


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Pima County Public Library, Arizona

Budget for Artwork:$20,000

Application Deadline: Dec. 18, 2019

Submissions are accepted online only. See additional details in the Application Procedure Section below.

Please go to the following link for site image folder of the project: https://artsfoundationfortucsonand.box.com/s/xy03l74vhe3zayg693kd4gewue9te72b


Project Description:

The Friends of the Kirk Bear Canyon Library are seeking an artist, artist(s) or artists team including any builders, engineering planners or designers needed, to create public art at the northern corner of the library’s eastern facade which consists of five connected wall panels in corrugated metal, some of which stand in accordion fashion under a covered walkway. The area available for the project will be artist’s choice of three to five of these panels which total approximately 500 square feet.

Library Eastern Facade: (Images 1, 2, and 3 in the image folder)

NOTE: This arrangement will necessitate either installation of new panels on top, (or removal and replacement of) the existing metal panels in order to make a permanent flat base for of the art work. The area in question is located on a shaded walkway with some existing non-directional overhead lighting. Additional specialized lighting could be considered. All permanent mediums will be considered, such as paint, relief or shallow depth sculpture, glazed mosaic, other materials and combinations.


Potential Themes:

The artist selection panel is interested in themes that convey the natural ambience of the area – flora, fauna, sky, sun, mountains, springs. Colors of sunrise and sunset, the changing tones of the mountains as the sun moves across the sky –scenery that attracts residents to this horizon-dominated corner of the Tucson valley.

There is an opportunity (although it is not required) to complement the existing sculpture (photos below) located at the library’s entrance, with its concept of the water of knowledge cascading onto rocks with a foam of words and letters found in books: our Sonoran desert as an oasis of learning.

Existing Artwork: (Images 4, 5, and 6 in the image folder)



Kirk-Bear Canyon Library is the northeastern-most of Pima County libraries and is located just inside the City of Tucson. It is found at the northeastern corner of the intersection of Tanque Verde and Bear Canyon Roads as part of commercial lots and parcels of land dotted with occasional housing developments, guest and horse ranches and undeveloped desert space. Unique to this area is Agua Caliente Park with its natural springs and lake, where parts of the valley exist over ancient Waterways resulting in the growth of lush trees and shrubs that shelter many animals and birds. Saguaro National Park East continues to the South, while urban areas follow within the City limits. North and east of the library are the Catalina Mountain foothills with Catalina Highway, leading to a forest ecosystem and the Mount Lemmon ski area. Many hiking trails with trees and streams are also accessible from here.

Library Entrance: (Image 7in the image folder)



An extremely popular library, Kirk-Bear Canyon hosts approximately 241,562 people yearly. Several apartment complexes exist within walking distance of the library, while a number of people drive miles to make use of the facilities. The community room is busy with meetings, clubs, and special programs. There is an active volunteer Friends program which provides funds for this branch and supports many of its special programs for adults, teens and children. Several area schools plan yearly visits for their students.


Art Budget:

The budget of $20,000 for art must cover all costs related to design, materials, production, transportation and installation of the artwork, as well as costs for permits, taxes, and insurance that may be required by the City of Tucson or Pima County. This may include soil analysis, engineering as well as a footing and base for the piece.


Public Interface and Expectations:

The selected artist will work with the artist selection panel through a series of design meetings organized by the Arts Foundation for review, comment, and approval of the final design before entering into production of the artwork. The Artist will coordinate with the Pima County Library Staff member and the AFTSA Manager of Public Art to achieve all required approvals to include but not limited to: Risk Review, engineering (if required), and installation.


Selection Process:

As a privately funded project, a panel composed of members of the Friends of the Bear Canyon Library and Pima County Library Staff will select up to three finalists from the Open Call to Artists based on qualifications as demonstrated through the materials provided through the application process. Finalists are required to create a preliminary design and present it as well as examples of past work in an interview and presentation meeting. A $200 honorarium will be awarded to all finalists who present a preliminary design. If a preliminary design is not presented the honorarium will not be awarded. The Arts Foundation is unable to pay travel expenses at this time.


Time Frame:

Please note: This schedule presented below is tentative and likely to be modified.

Call to artist posted: Nov 18. 2019

Application Deadline: Dec. 18th 2019

1st Art Panel Meeting to select 3 finalists: Dec. 20th 2019

2nd Art Panel Meeting, Finalists Interviews: Jan. 15th 2020

Announcement of Selected Artist: Jan. 20th 2020

Approval/Contract Process: Mar. 15th 2020

Art Production – Installation: Aug. 15th 2020


For more information, contact Jeff DaCosta at jdacosta@artsfoundtucson.org or by phone at (520) 460-4506. 

DueDecember 18, 2019
Issued DueNovember 18, 2019
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